Summer 2015

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

Get Your Library Questions Answered!

Joe Eisner

Summer 2015 issue of Trustee


Does a library board president or chair have any greater authority than any other board member?


No- No board member has any power nor authority beyond that which a majority of the board has granted any particular board member. As president or chair of the board, tradition, practice and accepted convention implies that the president or chair has the authority to preside over board meetings, and such other authority as either: 1) the board’s recorded minutes of meetings indicate may have been specifically delegated to the president or chair or authorized him/her to perform; and/or 2) the by-laws specifically indicate.


For example, if a majority of the board wants to insure that a patron  with a complaint or a desire to contact a board member is to be contacted only by the president or chair: 1) entertain a motion to that effect at the next regular board meeting, and record it in the meeting minutes; or 2) amend the by-laws to that effect, bearing  in mind that introduction of any such by-laws amending motion could be challenged on procedural grounds if the by-laws require   sufficient advance notification to be given in advance of a properly noticed board meeting.

Similarly, unless so specifically designated by a majority of the board, the president or chair is not the library director’s “boss”. The library director reports and is responsible to the entire library board.



Does the NY State Labor Law require employees be allowed to leave one hour earlier on paydays to cash paychecks.


No- this law was repealed in 1994.



May a school district public library trustee currently also hold office as a board of education member in the same school district?


Yes- according to opinions by both the Commissioner of Education and the Attorney General, there is no incompatibility in both offices- neither board is subordinate to the other (1981 Commissioner’s Decision 10,691, 21 Ed Dept Rept 300; 1981 Op Atty Genl (Inf) 264).


Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge. Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at


For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background,

please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

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